Stakeholders as Citizens: Rethinking Rights, Participation, and Democracy
Posted: 11 Jan 2010
Date Written: August 17, 2004
This paper reviews and analyses the implications of citizenship thinking for building ‘ethical’ institutional arrangements for business. The paper looks at various stakeholder groups whose relation with the company changes quite significantly when one starts to conceptualize it in terms of citizenship. Rather than being simply stakeholders, we could see those groups either as citizens, or as other constituencies participating in the administration of citizenship for others, or in societal governance more broadly. This raises crucial questions about accountability and democracy in stakeholder relations with the corporation. We sketch out the main currents informing and emerging from the citizenship perspective on firm-stakeholder relations; analyze specific stakeholder groups and their particular relevance in the context of a citizenship perspective; and conclude with a discussion of the broader implications in terms of building ethical institutions.
Keywords: Corporate citizenship, democracy, ethical
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